Journalists detained, sent back to Peshawar
PESHAWAR, May 5: The political administration of the Khyber Agency on Saturday detained four Peshawar-based journalists when they entered the tribal area on Saturday.
Speaking at the Peshawar Press Club, Hashmat Lodhi, Saiful Islam Saiffi, Alamgir Khan and Raja Imran Mehr said that when they reached the Ali Masjid checkpost in Landi Kotal, along with some local reporters, personnel of the levy force stopped their vehicle and said that they could not make any sort of coverage in the agency.
They said that line-officer Jumma Khan had told the personnel to restrict the movement of journalists in the agency. Another group of Khasadars (personnel of the levy force), led by subaidar Arbab Shah, arrived at the checkpost and took them (journalists) to the office of tehsildar Khalid Kundi, they added.
They said that Mr Kundi told the personnel to take the journalists to the political administrator’s office.
The journalists said that they were not allowed to return to Peshawar, and the tehsildar declined to answer when asked if they were detained.
“The personnel took us in their custody and brought us to the PA office.”
After two hours, Raht Gul, an official at the policical agent’s office, said there was a ban on the entry, movement and working of journalists in the agency, but he could not show any official order.
Khyber Union of Journalists president Jan Afzal and general secretary Nasir Hussain condemned the detention of journalists in the
Khyber agency and said the incident clearly showed that the government was opposed to the freedom of press.
They said that the journalists’ fraternity would not let the incident go unnoticed and would register its protest.
Peshawar Press Club president M. Riaz and other office-bearers condemned the ban on the entry of journalists and refusal of permission to carry out their professional duty in the agency.
They said that they would not accept any restrictions on the movement of journalists.